It may seem like making food that’s good for you will take a lot of extra time, but we have 4 great healthy recipe tips that might change your mind. It’s not that difficult to make a whole week’s worth of healthy meals for the family, even if you only have a little understanding of nutrition. The best way to achieve this is to put some effort into planning.
If you take some time to plan your meals a week at a time you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make. Not only will you be able to have more healthy meals, but you’ll also keep the cost down and you’ll save time too. Read on for our 4 tips to see if they if they help you.
Appliances and Healthy Recipe Tips
Planning and preparing meals will be a lot easier if you have the right appliance to help you. Slow cookers are really amazing because they can cook large amounts of food and because they do it slowly it’s normally healthier as you don’t need to add extra oil because the food will cook in its own juices. There is nowhere for the goodness to go, other than to stay within the food.
The beauty of a slow cooker is that you put the food into it, turn it on and leave it all day to be ready when you come home from work. The types and variety of dishes you can make is almost endless, they taste great and there’s usually plenty to last for a couple of days or even longer. Slow cookers are real time savers and a huge benefit for working families.
Having meals ready in advance will save you a lot of time and if you have a microwave it’ll save you even more time. There has been a lot of discussion as to whether microwaving is healthy or not, but they’ve been around long enough to ensure they’re safe.
Microwave pre-packed meals tend to be unhealthy as they normally have a high salt content. We’re not suggesting going down that route or even cooking with one. We’re talking about heating up a healthy meal which you made yourself. Another advantage with a microwave is that you can quickly heat up single servings, so your family can eat at different times if busy.
If you want to be really organised, write down your schedule for the week and match it up to a menu for each day. You can then plan to have the quickest and easier to prepare meals on the days when you’re going to be busy and won’t have so much time spare.
Involve the Family
It might sound obvious but if you’re preparing for the whole family it’s a good idea to involve them in the planning. If everyone has a say in what’s on the menu each night, there’s less chance of disagreement. Of course, if you’re serving your meals in single portions, family members don’t have to have the same dish as each other.
Involving the family in a discussion about meals in advance and making sure the healthy balance is right will most likely make them more interested in healthy eating. You might also want to get them to help out with the food preparation which might also get them more interested. It will probably be good for “family time” as well.
Freezing is Great
Another healthy recipe tip if you’re cooking a lot of food is to freeze the leftovers. You may be making soup, pasta, stew, casseroles or something similar for a particular meal but if you make more than you’re going to need, double or even triple, you can freeze it to use at a later date. It’s another time saver but will also save you money.
Buying larger amounts of food at a time will be cheaper than buying small amounts more often, so freezing what you don’t use can mean healthy meals are ready to eat weeks later. Labelling what goes into each container is a good idea, especially if you’re freezing a lot of different dishes. It will last if kept frozen for quite a while but make sure you put the oldest food at the top of your freezer, so it gets used first.
Look out for food that’s on special offer, if it’s coming up to the “best before” date and it’s been reduced in price, buy it and freeze it. This is a great idea for meat as it can be expensive, so when it gets reduced you’ll make some good savings. Defrost it when you’re ready to cook it and once you’ve made the dish you can freeze it. Never defrost and refreeze anything, you can freeze it once it’s been thoroughly cooked as part of a dish.
Keep the Basics Stocked Up
It’s great to have a freezer full of healthy meals ready to use when you need them, but it’s a good idea to have some of the basics in your pantry as well. Things like soup stock, tinned vegetables and fruits will make preparation of any healthy recipe much quicker and, of course, easier.
Again, you may also be able to save money as stores often have sales and that’s a great time to stock up on these items. Look out for things which will keep for a long time such as, whole grain cereals, tomato sauce, pasta, baked beans, tinned fish and whole grain bread. Using these types of foods is often a great way to come up with a healthy meal at very short notice.
Planning is probably the most important thing when you want to make sure your meals are balanced and just right for the whole family. Of course, the types of dish you make is important too, but with planning you can be sure the balance is right.
With most families cost is important too. Healthier and fresh foods can work out more expensive, so making more in one go and freezing it will make a big difference to the cost. It really doesn’t take much to have good food and we hope you have got something from our healthy recipe tips.